This week our friends over at Buzzfeed broke the story that our parent company MTV will be launching a major new campaign focused on the social issues affecting younger viewers: race, gender, and sexual identity.
The “Look Different” campaign will have both on-air and digital components and its goal is to accelerate the fight against racial, gender & LGBT inequality.”
As MTV President Stephen Friedman explained to Buzzfeed, “What [we’ve] found is that these [social] issues are a little bit of a third rail and there’s not a place for people to have the dialogue. Our audience feels really strongly about fairness and equality, yet they don’t even really have the language to talk about it or the forum.”
“Look Different” will roll out in three phases over several years. The first phase will focus predominantly on racial bias, the second gender bias, and the final phase will focus on anti-LGBT bias.
According to Friedman the network worked with David Binder Research to conduct a three month survey of a representative sample of the networks’ younger viewers (ages 14-24). The findings were eye-opening.
Says Friedman, “You look at our white audience: They said only 30% of them growing up ever talked about race. So, that’s 70% that are not talking about it,. “Half of our audience in general doesn’t feel comfortable even having a conversation around gender, around LGBT issues, or race. So the question was: Why?”
The “Look Different” campaign (lookdifferent.org) hopes to break down implicit biases and combat “microaggressions”, which are “brief and often non-intentionally offensive verbal slights that have damaging effects on members of minority groups.”
For example, statements like “You’re different for a black guy” or “You throw really good for a girl” or “That’s so gay” could all be considered microagressions.
Activities on lookdifferent.org